Monday, October 31, 2022

Malaysia's mobile operators agree to share national 5G infrastructure

Four mobile operators – Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, YTL Communications Sdn Bhd (YES), and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM – agreed to take up equity stakes in Malaysials Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB). 

The deal paves the way for DNB to accelerate deployment of the 5G network and infrastructure, with a target of 80% coverage of populated areas by 2024.

Together, the four operators will hold 65% equity in DNB, with their respective stakes as follows: Celcom Axiata (12.5%), Digi Telecommunications (12.5%), YTL Communications (20%), TM (20%). The Government of Malaysia will retain the other 35% and hold a Golden Share, which carries various rights and privileges and covers areas such as ownership, sale, or transfer of shares on the part of the Government. 

The 12.5% shareholding each for Celcom Axiata and Digi Telecommunications is in recognition of their imminent merger. Under the terms of the SSA and the agreed governance structure between the parties, no single MNO can hold more than a 20% shareholding in DNB, and in the event of a merger between the MNOs, the merged entity cannot hold more than a 25% shareholding in DNB.

This marks a positive development following extensive discussions between the MNOs and DNB. It is anticipated that the MNOs will make 5G services available to their end users from October 2022 onwards. 

“I am pleased that the MNOs have taken up the equity offered by the Government and have executed their SSAs with DNB. All parties will now work towards completing the conditions precedent in the SSAs, including executing the Access Agreements as soon as possible. I expect that all parties will make every effort to deliver 5G availability to all their Malaysian and global ‘roaming’ customers. The MNOs, in particular, have a crucial role to play in ensuring the accelerated adoption of 5G among end users. Over the longer term, they will be responsible for bringing to market a host of new 5G-enabled products and services which will have a positive impact on many businesses, be it small, medium or large, as well as Government,” said DNB Chairman, Yang Berbahagia Datuk Seri Asri Hamidon.

"As of today, the 5G network has achieved 33% coverage of populated areas as against a target of approximately 40% by end-2022. The testing and integration of 5G sites by the MNOs have progressed well and I believe they are ready to provide 5G services to end-users located in areas where 5G infrastructure is currently available. In addition, the local 5G ecosystem has grown rapidly, with 12 device brands now offering more than 100 5G-compatible models for use in Malaysia. As such, we are encouraged by the establishment of the infrastructure to facilitate the rapid adoption of 5G by the Rakyat, businesses, and Government,” Datuk Seri Asri added.

Telekom Malaysia to provide fiber to DNB for nationwide 5G

Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) signed a Fibre Leasing Service agreement with Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) to speed up the deployment of the government-owned 5G network nationwide.

DNB will be able to leverage on TM’s extensive fibre and network infrastructure, and subscribe to TM’s 5G RAN-to-Edge Fronthaul and Backhaul solution for the provision of fibre connectivity, enabling DNB to provide 5G network services nationwide.

Under the agreement, TM will provide DNB with 5G fibre leasing services for connectivity between DNB’s 5G mobile sites and nodes, leveraging on TM’s domestic fibre cable network spanning over 640,000 km across Malaysia. Prior to this, TM along with other fibre providers in Malaysia had participated in the 5G Fiber Leasing Request for Quotation (RFQ) exercise conducted by DNB in June 2021.

The term sheet agreement with a total contract value of RM2 billion over 10 years was duly signed by Imri Mokhtar, Group Chief Executive Officer of TM and Amar Huzaimi Md Deris, Executive Vice President, TM Wholesale while DNB was represented by Augustus Ralph Marshall, Chief Executive Officer and Dushyanthan Vaithiyanathan, Chief Operating Officer.

Arista posts record revenue of $1.2 billion, up 57% yoy

Arista Networks reported Q3 revenue of $1.177 billion, an increase of 11.9% compared to the second quarter of 2022, and an increase of 57.2% from the third quarter of 2021. GAAP gross margin was 60.3%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 61.2% in the second quarter of 2022 and 63.9% in the third quarter of 2021. Non-GAAP net income was $391.9 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $236.9 million, or $0.74 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2021.

“Arista continues to outpace our networking peers with record revenue in Q3 2022,” said Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO of Arista Networks. “Clearly, we are entering the next phase of Arista’s evolution in products, customer intimacy and new market expansion.”

  • Supply chain issues remained a factor.
  • International sales represented of 17% revenue, with Americas at 83%
  • Cloud titans was the largest vertical, followed enterprises.
  • Cloud titan partnerships grew stronger. Microsoft and Meta are continuing with their 400G journeys.

Arista delivers its next-gen Cloud Routing

Arista Networks is releasing the next iteration of its cloud-grade routing platform, which was first introduced six years ago. It is based on cloud principles of scale-out architectures, standards-based protocols, and software-driven control. Highlights of the announcement:For enterprises, Arista advances the enterprise edge by securing data-in-transit over high speed links with "TunnelSec" technology, providing in-line encryption at wire rate from...

Far North Fiber advances plans for arctic cable from Europe to Asia

Far North Fiber, an international consortium consisting of  Finland’s Cinia Oy, Alaska’s Far North Digital and Japan’s ARTERIA Networks Corporation, is moving ahead with plans for a 17,000 km Trans-Arctic Fiber cable connecting Japan, North America, and Ireland and Scandinavia.

Far North Fiber estimates the system will be ready for service by the end of 2026. 

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has been selected to build and install the submarine cable and equipment required for this project.

“Far North Fiber will be the first multicontinental cable system through the Arctic. It provides a backbone that offers enhanced opportunities for economic development, international security, and a greener footprint for the buildout of global digital infrastructure,” says Ari-Jussi Knaapila, CEO of Cinia.

Koji Kabumoto, Representative Director, President & CEO of ARTERIA, commented: " The FNF is to build a network that directly connects Europe and Asia with low latency through the Northwest Passage, and Japan will serve as the gateway to Asia. It is our pleasure to be involved in this journey, as the project is expected to contribute the development of digital societies in Japan and Asia in a wide range of fields, including industry, academia, and culture."

Cinia and Far North Digital plan subsea cable across Arctic

Finland-based Cinia announced a joint effor with Far North Digital, a start-up based in Anchorage, to build a fiber optic cable system linking Europe and Asia through the Arctic. Alcatel Submarine Networks will take the lead on project design and installation.The planned, 14,000km cable system will run from Japan, via the Northwest Passage, to Europe with landings in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. European landings are planned in Norway, Finland...

Cinia Plans Terabit-class Cable from Finland to Germany with ALU

Cinia Group (previously Corenet), a Finnish Government-owned venture, has selected Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a terabit-class undersea cable system linking Finland and Germany. The project, named Sea Lion, calls for the deployment of a new 100G system that will span more than 1,100 km from Helsinki in Finland, to the Rostock-Ribnitz area in Germany. It will have a design capacity of 15 Terabits per second (Tbps) and is expected to enter service in...

Arctic Connect cable to link Norway and Japan

A new Arctic Connect Submarine Cable (ACSC) project is being planned to connect Kirkenes, Norway and Tokyo, Japan, through the Arctic Ocean and Northern Pacific Ocean.  The system will have its European cable landing stations in Northern Norway and Finland, with connections further southwards through Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark extending to the rest of Europe. The cable system has options for additional landings in Japan and in North...

Egypt inaugurates Red2Med cable along west bank of Suez

 Last week, Telecom Egypt's CEO and Managing Director, Adel Hamed, along with Egyptian government officials officially inaugurated “Red2Med,” a new submarine and terrestrial cable running from the Ras Ghareb landing point in the Red Sea to the landing station in Port Said in the Mediterranean Sea through Internet Corridor of Egypt (ICE).

Red2Med is composed of three segments which are detached from the conventional public roads: from the south the Red Sea subsea festoon cable linking Ras Ghareb, Zaafarana and Suez, then extending to the ICE terrestrial from Suez to Port said, and finally connecting to the planned Mediterranean Sea subsea festoon cable.

ICE is a 200 km, one-of-a-kind crossing route connecting the new Suez 2 and Port Said 2 landing stations. This new terrestrial fiber optic route runs through Morshedeen route on the west bank of the highly-secured Suez Canal campus.  

Telecom Egypt says the Red2Med system will encourage and support better international connectivity between East and West, connecting Europe, Africa and Asia.

Hamed stated that launching Red2Med is a remarkable achievement and a breakthrough in the submarine cables industry, as it cements Egypt’s position as a regional data hub. He added that Telecom Egypt is pleased to offer the new cable system, a brand-new optical path that will encourage and support better international connectivity.


TAWAL to provide infrastructure for King Abdullah Economic City

TAWAL, the leading Saudi ICT Infrastructure company, will provide ICT infrastructure for King Abdullah Economic City.

These solutions will improve the efficiency of KAEC’s telecommunications network through the application of best practices and international standards.

Under the stipulations of the strategic agreement, TAWAL will acquire all the towers owned by the city, as well as the In-Building Solutions (IBS). TAWAL will manage and operate these assets to telecom service providers.

The agreement was signed during the “Future Investment Initiative” summit — which was held in Riyadh from 25 to 27 October — in the presence of TAWAL CEO, Eng. Mohammed Alhakbani, and KAEC CEO, Mr. Cyril Piaia.

Saudi Arabia's TAWAL picks Nokia for 5G expansion

TAWAL, the leading Saudi ICT Infrastructure company, has selected Nokia to provide full turnkey services towards expanding and deploying 5G for TAWAL’s infrastructure in the western and southern parts of Saudi Arabia. This project is part of TAWAL’s plan for 5G expansion in the western and southern parts of Saudi Arabia, where Nokia will be adding 5G capabilities to 670 4G sites over the course of six months. In addition, Nokia will be replacing...

Rogers + Shaw deal hits further regulatory snag

Quebecor, Rogers Communications, and Shaw Communications issued the following statement late last week after a mediation session as part of Canada's Competition Tribunal process failed to reach an agreement that would allow the Rogers + Shaw merger to proceed:

"“The mediation did not yield a negotiated settlement.  We are disappointed with this outcome and believe that litigation is both unnecessary and harmful to competition. The Bureau’s unwillingness to meaningfully engage unduly delays lower wireless prices for Canadian consumers.

We remain committed to completing this pro-competitive series of transactions and are confident in the strength and merits of our case in front of the Competition Tribunal, including the many benefits of these transactions to Canadians.

Once completed, our proposed series of transactions will positively transform the Canadian telecommunications industry in both the wireline and wireless segments. The combined Videotron-Freedom business will have everything it needs to compete as a stronger fourth carrier for the long term, including critical 5G spectrum. Quebecor’s commitment to lower wireless prices for Canadians across the country is one of the many benefits that the proposed transactions will create.

At the same time, the combined Shaw-Rogers wireline business will have a national network positioned to compete against the telcos for the long-term."

Rogers + Shaw merger to reshape Canadian market

Rogers Communications agreed to acquire Shaw Communications in a $26 billion deal that could reshape the Canadian communications market. Under the transaction, Rogers will acquire all of Shaw’s Class A and Class B shares for $40.50 per share, reflecting a ~70% premium to Shaw’s Class B share price.

The merger will create Canada’s most robust wholly-owned national network and accelerate the deployment of 5G. Once the transaction is complete, the companies plan to invest $2.5 billion in 5G networks across Western Canada, which is expected to create up to 3,000 net new jobs. The deal brings together Shaw’s fibre-to-home, WiFi and wireless networks with Roger's national wireless network and 5G capabilities.

Both Rogers and Shaw began as family operated businesses.

Rogers will also commit to establishing a new $1 billion Rogers Rural and Indigenous Connectivity Fund to connect rural, remote and Indigenous communities across Western Canada to high-speed Internet and closing critical connectivity gaps faster for underserved areas. 

Rambus posts strong Q3, exceeding guidance

Rambus posted Q3 GAAP revenue of $112.2 million, with licensing billings at $62.2 million, product at was $58.6 million, and contract and other revenue of $23.7 million. The company also generated $80 million in cash provided by operating activities in the third quarter.

“Rambus had an excellent performance in the third quarter, exceeding guidance and delivering record cash and product revenue,” said Luc Seraphin, chief executive officer of Rambus. “Our strategic focus and strong execution in data center, combined with a diverse portfolio of offerings, drive the company’s long-term profitable growth and enable consistent capital returns to our stockholders.”

Separately, Rambus extended its patent license agreement with Samsung Electronics. This substantially maintains the existing financial terms and provides Samsung with broad access to the full Rambus patent portfolio through late 2033. Other terms and details are confidential.

Cinchy raises $14.5m for enterprise data management

Cinchy, a start-up based in Toronto,  raised US$14.5 million in Series B financing, for its data fabric and data mesh solutions for enterprises.

“Our mission is to liberate and harness the power of data, giving it back to teams and organizations to accelerate digital transformation and growth,” said Dan DeMers, CEO and co-founder of Cinchy. “We’re thrilled to partner with the team at Forgepoint Capital, which uniquely appreciates the importance of data layer controls and the enablement of data autonomy. This latest round of funding helps us expand our team and release new offerings that include pre-built dataware solutions designed to help organizations instantly liberate both trapped data and siloed SaaS applications.”

The funding round was led by Forgepoint Capital.